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View Diary: What I Want to Know: 10 Reasons Why We Shouldn't Be Focusing on Glenn F**king Greenwald (722 comments)

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  •  You are misinformed. (27+ / 0-)

    The debate over the implementation of the PATRIOT Act did not occur in the public sphere. Secret interpretations of the law have been used to eavesdrop.

    No democracy there.

    Obama is the Chickenshit-in-Chief for failing to stand up to Republicans on all their phony scandals, from the "beer summit," to Van Jones, "death panels," Shirley Sherrod, contraception, Benghazi, and the IRS.

    by expatjourno on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 03:39:06 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  It was passed with little or no debate... (15+ / 0-)

      in public by brave politicians scared children afraid of being called soft on terrorism.

      Historic revisionism is fun but not very productive.

      “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” – Will Rogers

      by markthshark on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 03:49:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  no debate is still part of a public debate (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fhcec, evanaj

        The fact no one debated it was still part of the public discourse.  If Americans objected, they could have demanded questions.  Or voted out politicians who didn't debate the Patriot Act.

        Again, I'm sorry democracy disappoints you.  It usually does to about 49% of any given debate.

        I'm not sure what historical revisionism you're accusing me of.  Did you know of a bill called "The Patriot Act"?  Were you aware that Congress passed it?  Were you aware what you didn't know, at the time?  Then you were aware of it. As were all Americans.  

        What they chose to do about it is part of democracy.  

        •  "They could have demanded questions..." (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          markthshark, expatjourno, KJG52, caul

          I guess, like greenwald did?

          Greenwald is no hero to me.  I have few heroes.  (Snowden, however, is one).  Greenwald does however earn my appreciation for asking the questions in the public sphere which you claim we have a right to ask... but weren't.

          •  Fair enough (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Onomastic, truong son traveler

            I also asked those questions.  At the time.  

            The argument that "no one knew" about the Patriot Act is simply disingenuous and a rewrite of history.

            Many knew.  That's why we objected to it at the time.  

            •  We DID NOT know, though, (5+ / 0-)

              that once we had a Democratic president, that domestic spying would continue at the same pace and that war criminals like Brennan would be put in positions of authority in its further implementation.  In fact, we had NO IDEA what was going to go on behind the scenes with a secret program that we weren't given updates about.  Our imaginations might have run wild, but I sort of hoped that things were being reined in by Obama.

              They weren't.  Instead, a bipartisan consensus of protectors of this massive domestic spying apparatus kept secret from us the further expansion of the NSA powers.  And went after the whistleblower who tried to tell us what was happening.

              I didn't realize that our own government, for instance, would give foreign access to such massive private intelligence information on Americans.  That sort of turns the idea of national security on its head.  Yeah, Britain is an ally, but we're the ones paying for the NSA, not them.  You can't say we all knew that.

        •  The Patriot Act was signed into law Oct. 26th '01. (8+ / 0-)

          a little over a month after 9-11. That means this ginormous piece of democracy-killing legislation was thought up, written by and "debated" in Congress before that.

          Congress spends more time debating the freakin' farm bill than they did on the single piece of legislation more responsible for changing the fundamental democratic norms of this country than any other.

          If Americans objected, they could have demanded questions.
          The people were pissed off, confused and scared shitless and wanted to feel safe. In trust, we delegated the duty of making us feel safe to our elected representatives.

          They failed us.

          Don't tell me the PA was debated in public.

          That's crap

          “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” – Will Rogers

          by markthshark on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 05:21:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And then it was Re-Authorized (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            truong son traveler

            Clearly no one debated it in 2001.

            Then the Bush lawbreaking came out in 2006.  

            Millions of stories were written on the illegal wiretapping.

            Then the Patriot Act was rewritten and tweaked.  And then re-authorized.  Americans didn't say peep.

            Call it "crap" all you want, but nothing Snowden has revealed wasn't already clearly going on.  

            The fact that most Americans care more about James Gandolfini than wireless surveillance without a warrant is very sad, but it doesn't mean "no one knew."  It simply means Americans haven't cared.  

            •  Its Senate critics WERE NOT ALLOWED... (6+ / 0-)

     state how the law was being used when they objected to its reauthorization.

              Have you not been paying any fucking attention at all?

              Wyden teamed with Colorado Sen. Mark Udall on an amendment that would require the government to publicly announce the legal boundaries for documents and information it collects in terrorism investigations. That information is currently classified but Wyden insists that the government explain, in general but more specific terms, how documents and even a person's DNA have a "nexus" to an investigation.

              “I’m going to focus on what’s really secret law,” Wyden said Tuesday in an interview.

              “The details, for example of how you get into a sleeper cell, absolutely have to be classified," said Wyden, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. "That’s operations and methods. But how the government interprets the law like the Patriot Act, I think the public has a right to know that. If the public doesn’t know and they find out the way the government is interpreting the law is different than the way they think, it’s going to undermine public confidence.”



              Obama is the Chickenshit-in-Chief for failing to stand up to Republicans on all their phony scandals, from the "beer summit," to Van Jones, "death panels," Shirley Sherrod, contraception, Benghazi, and the IRS.

              by expatjourno on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 02:05:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  You are correct, Mr Shark. The Patriot Act was (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            debated (sortof) and passed in an atmosphere of mass hysteria.  

            The two major opponents to it even received anthrax - later traced to a government lab - in their mail, and subsequently changed their votes, if I remember correctly.

            It was a horrible law and still is today.  I spent many hours opposing it in public at the time, but nothing worked in those awful Bush days.  We knew at the time it would lead to previously-unimaginable violations of basic civil rights.  It said so right there in the law.

            But I believe WinSmith also makes some good points, about what is lawful and what isn't, how Mr Snowden should rightfully make his points and take his medicine, about how GG plays us like a fiddle for his own benefit, and how we should be able to have a long-overdue public debate about some important issues.

            GG is not actually important to this story.  It's not really about him, he's just the conduit.  That must drive him nuts.

            Could we please have the debate?

    •  No, the SPECIFICS were not debated (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The concept behind the Patriot Act - to vest the government with additional classified powers to search for terrorists via surveillance, phone records, etc. -- was completely a part of the debate.

      The debate didn't go the way you or I wanted.

      But the Patriot Act was a public bill, passed in public, by public officials.  

      If you don't think this is democracy, I don't think you're clear on the concept.  Democracy doesn't always work out the way you or I would like it to.  That doesn't mean it wasn't democracy.  

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